Cathie Wood’s ARK leaves New York with a transfer to the Florida office

(Bloomberg) – ARK Investment Management, the company led by Cathie Wood, is joining the financial sector’s shift to South Florida.

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ARK will permanently close its New York office at the end of October and move its headquarters to St. Petersburg, according to a statement released on Wednesday. The company also announced that it will build an innovation center designed to “retain and attract top talent” to the Tampa Bay area.

Florida has seen renewed interest from investment firms since the start of the pandemic as the work-from-home revolution pushes companies to reconsider their presence in expensive business centers such as New York and San Francisco, with much of that interest in Palm Beach and Miami.

“ARK is not a traditional Wall Street asset management company,” Wood said in the statement. “We look forward to breaking the mold even further by moving to St. Petersburg. “

Wood became a financial superstar during the pandemic for the performance of her funds, with her flagship returning nearly 150% in 2020. Her transparency and social media prowess have helped her attract a loyal following. retail investors.

Florida’s tax cut has proven popular for the financial industry, especially after Covid-19 invaded New York City. So far, many of the moves tend to be satellite or secondary offices, with relatively few head offices.

ARK joins Paul Singer’s Elliott Investment Management in setting up a head office in Florida. The hedge fund moves to West Palm Beach from Manhattan.

Read more: Wall Street South is building its own New York City to attract a younger crowd

Florida state leaders and local leaders have been trying to gain a foothold in finance and asset management for years. In addition to cutting taxes, the state also has a long-standing relationship with New York City.

Many financial titans have homes in the state or plan to retire there. Still, Florida struggled to break through, with top talent fearing it would struggle to make a career there.

Read more: Wall Street’s Shift South Heading To Texas, Florida Culture War

In September, only 1.4% of assets under management were owned by companies headquartered in the Sunshine State, compared to around 22% for New York and other states like California, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, according to the data. of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Bloomberg reported in May that ARK employees are not your typical Wall Street mob. About a quarter of ARK’s 35 employees at the time were people of color, including the CFO and the Chief Compliance Officer. One third are women and most are under 35 years old.

As Wall Street grapples with its return to the office, ARK has said its “hybrid return-to-work model” will allow some employees to work remotely. Still, a “substantial” number of the company’s staff have chosen to relocate, the statement said.

“The taxes in New York make this a very logical move,” said James Seyffart, ETF analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “It’s basically Tampa, so it’s not like they’re going in the middle of nowhere. But of course then you don’t live in New York – I’m sure some people aren’t happy.

(Add details on ARK’s workforce at the bottom of the article.)

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